Toddler Growth Spurts: Do They Exist?

As your little one continues to grow and develop, perhaps you’re wondering when those rumored toddler growth spurts might occur. It’s important to know that children do not experience major growth spurts during their toddler years. However, you’ll certainly see a lot of small but exciting changes and developmental achievements as your toddler ages, and has spurts of growth here and there, though they don’t follow a typical schedule during these years. Read on to learn what type of growth your child will likely experience and what signs to look out for when those little spurts do occur.

What Is a Growth Spurt?

A growth spurt refers to a period of rapid growth. Usually, a growth spurt involves increases in your child's height and weight among other body changes. For babies, that includes an increasing head circumference. When these changes occur, your child may appear to grow overnight! But when not experiencing a growth spurt, children tend to develop at a more consistent pace when tracked over time.

When Do Kids Have Growth Spurts?

Your little one will absolutely grow and develop throughout childhood, but besides the rapid growth of the newborn phase, the only other major growth spurt for children occurs at puberty. For girls, this typically happens between 8 and 13 years, and for boys, between 10 and 15 years. Other than puberty, children tend to experience small spurts of growth interspersed throughout the years, which add up to an overall steady pattern of development.

When your baby or adolescent child goes through a growth spurt, it’s the end result that you’ll notice first—the fact that they've grown! Other than this actual, observable growth, there aren't any common signs or symptoms of growth spurts. As for toddlers and young children, the same holds true: you won't see common signs or symptoms of growth. But although you won’t notice any rapid increases happening all of the sudden, your child will still grow.

Toddler Growth: Ages and Measurements

During toddlerhood, when your child is 1 to 3 years old, you can certainly expect substantial growth and development to take place, even though there are no obvious growth spurts. Children grow and develop on their own timelines, and increases in growth tend to occur at different times when compared with other toddlers of the same age. Interestingly, though, kids tend to grow more in the spring than at other times of the year!

Instead of focusing on how much your child grows month by month, do aim to take a broader view and consider how much your toddler grows in a year. The overall goal for your child's healthy development is steady and consistent growth. You're likely to see that your toddler will experience small spurts or bursts of development between times of slower growth rather than significant growth spurts at specific ages.

In general, you can anticipate the following gains at these ages:

  • 1 to 2 years old. Between 1 and 2 years old, toddlers tend to gain about:

    • Five pounds in weight

    • Four or five inches in height.

  • 2 to 3 years old. When your toddler is 2 to 3 years old, they’ll likely gain about:

    • Four pounds in weight

    • Two or three inches in height.

In Summary

The only true growth spurt all kids experience is puberty. However, individual children may experience small spurts of growth throughout childhood, interspersed with slower periods of physical development. 

On average, toddlers gain five pounds and four to five inches from age 1 to 2, and about four pounds and two to three inches from years 2 to 3.

What Parents Can Do to Support Physical Development in Children

One of the many joys of parenthood is watching your child continue to grow and rack up achievements in terms of developmental milestones. To help support your toddler’s growth, both during times of slower physical development and during those tiny little spurts, try to make sure that your toddler does the following:

  • Gets enough sleep. A growing and developing body uses up a lot of energy, and it’s important that your toddler gets plenty of sleep. Although sleeping patterns vary from child to child, most children need an average of 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night.

  • Eats healthy foods. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet helps your little one reach their full growth potential. They’ll need essential vitamins and minerals to support their body during this time of development. Offer your child a variety of healthy foods for meals and snacks.

  • Moves their body every day. All types of physical activity and play contribute to healthy growth. Your toddler will be developing new muscles, and exercise helps them tone those muscle groups and maintain a healthy weight.

When to Consult a Healthcare Provider

When your toddler experiences a little spurt of growth, you might wonder if that’s “normal” or not. Keep in mind that each child will grow at their own unique pace. But if your child's development seems quite a bit different than what's described above—for example, if you notice their height and weight increasing rapidly during toddlerhood or growth appears to be too slow—don't hesitate to consult your little one’s healthcare provider. Most likely, your child is growing as they should overall, but the provider can rule out any causes for concern. And remember that you and your child’s healthcare provider will track your toddler’s growth on charts, just as you did when your little one was a baby. The provider will look at your child’s overall growth throughout months and years and check anything out of the ordinary as it comes up.

Toddler “Growth Spurt” Charts

Think back to when you tracked your baby’s development on a baby growth chart. You can also chart your toddler’s development, and for the 12- to 24-month period you'll be using the similar charts. Then, once your toddler turns 2, you and your child’s healthcare provider will track your child’s physical development on a different set of standardized growth charts, which extend all the way to age 20! Toddler girls and boys may experience spurts of growth differently, so it’s best to track development in gender-based charts. Below you’ll find the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts for boys and girls, which are the ones you should use for toddlers.

Toddler Boys Growth Charts

You and your child’s healthcare provider will look at different growth charts depending on the type of measurement and age. Here are the standard charts for boys: Birth to 24 Months

  • Boys head circumference-for-age and weight-for-length

  • Boys length-for-age and weight-for-age

2 Years and Older

  • Boys stature-for-age and weight-for-age

  • Boys body mass index (BMI)-for-age



Toddler Development
Pincer Grasp Development

Toddler Girls Growth Chart

Again, your child’s healthcare provider can help you understand your toddler’s growth patterns by looking at different growth charts depending on measurements and age. Here are the appropriate charts for girls: Birth to 24 Months

  • Girls head circumference-for-age and weight-for-length

  • Girls length-for-age and weight-for-age

2 Years and Older

  • Girls stature-for-age and weight-for-age

  • Girls body mass index (BMI)-for-age

Although these growth charts can be confusing at first glance, your toddler’s healthcare provider will know how to read them and help you understand your child’s overall growth pattern. As your little one grows, are you choosing the correct size in diapers or training pants? Take our quiz below to find out! And don’t forget to reap the rewards for all those diaper changes with the Pampers Club App.


You probably won't see any signs of a toddler growth spurt, as children this age don’t tend to have sudden increases in growth. Rather, toddlers are apt to grow more consistently with slower periods of growth interspersed with small spurts of here and there. Our article details how your child might grow in their toddler years.

The Bottom Line

After the rapid growth of your baby’s first year, you might be wondering what to anticipate in toddlerhood. It turns out that toddlers don’t have growth spurts like babies. In fact, after your little one’s first year, the only official growth spurt is puberty, which won’t happen for many years. Instead, toddlers tend to experience small bursts and spurts of growth interspersed with times of more gradual development, but no major growth spurts. Each toddler develops at their own pace, so some children don’t experience as much growth at one time as others. With the help of your child’s healthcare provider, you can track your toddler’s development on a growth chart. Additionally, you can support your toddler’s development by providing them with a well-balanced diet, daily exercise, and lots of sleep! Treasure this gradual growth and celebrate all of your toddler's milestones and achievements along the way.

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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